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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 3: May 2020
Tanka Tale: 192 words
By Claire Everett

Never Was It More So


A path we have taken enough for it to know our cleats as well as hoof and pad and paw. It is a Friday of a future never more uncertain, and yet, light and dark are in equal measure and, as if by Freya’s hand, the trap is sprung with birds and blossoms.

The chiffchaff, like the first of his kind, is chanting his name lest he forgets it. The skylark begins yet another exponential climb to fill the flute of his being with air that is clearer, cleaner and bright with the industry of other-than-human folk. And when it comes, the shower of song is a libation for this quiet corner of earth that we have long hailed our world apart, our year-round nearaway.

Hard to tell if it’s joy or fear, or both, that stops the throat and pricks the eyes. In part, perhaps, it’s the bittersweet notion that the hue and cry of a girl-child in a yellow raincoat might have been heard by the gods.

new in her lexicon...
the child’s hand in mine
and spring, loud as ever
with nest-building corvids


Claire Everett
Issue 3, May 2020

is the author of two tanka collections, twelve moons and The Small, Wild Places; and co-author of Hagstones: A Tanka Journey with Joy McCall, and Talking in Tandem with her husband, Tony Everett. In 2017, Claire joined the editorial panel for the Red Moon Anthology. She served on the editorial team for Take Five Best Contemporary Tanka (Volume 4, 2011), and in 2015 she edited the Tanka Society of America’s Members’ Anthology, Spent Blossoms. She served as tanka-prose editor for Haibun Today [from December 2011 thru September 2016], and as founding editor of Skylark Publishing and Skylark: the journal [from the inaugural issue in April 2013 thru the final issue, Summer 2019].

Claire is mum to five children and step-mum to two and likes nothing better than to be cycling through the Dales with Tony on their trusty tandem Tallulah, or walking on the North Yorkshire Moors.

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